Not really. Well, we are SOME day, but I’m pretty sure we’re not all going to collapse into a black hole on Wednesday.

Have you heard about this? The Large Hadron Collider at CERN (the biiiiig atomic accelamarator thinger that runs under France and Switzerland) is ready to roll. If all goes well, the scientists there will be re-creating conditions similar to those that were around about a billionth of a second* after the Big Bang. There’s a chance that itty-bitty black holes could be created, and people are freaking out because they think we’re all going to be swallowed up. NOOOOOOES!

I’m not worried. These holes are gonna be way smaller than a single atom, and they’re going to blink out of existence as quickly as they appear. And if I’m wrong, this message will be destroyed, and there will be no proof that I was wrong. HAHAHAHAHA!

Why am I telling you this? Because I’m very excited, that’s why. Not about the possibility (however remote) of the world ending. Not even because I’m enthralled by the beauty of the sub-atomic particles and blah, blah, blah. I’m excited because I know what the hell they’re talking about.

I picked up this book while I was at the cottage called “Masters of Time- How Wormholes, Snakewood and Assaults on the Big Bang Have Brought Mystery Back to the Cosmos”, by John Boslough. To be quite honest, it’s not the easiest book I’ve ever read. There have been many times while I’ve been reading it when I’ve probably looked like a cocker spaniel contemplating the internal combustion engine, and I figure I’m doing well if I understand half of what I’m reading. That said, it’s interesting stuff. The amount of what scientists are working with that’s entirely theoretical (and completely un-disprovable) is astounding, and the fact that there are people who come up with these theories based on math, of all things… well, like I said, I don’t understand it, but I’m gaining an appreciation for it, anyway.

I’m still working on that book**.  It makes me happy when I read words like “hadron” and “boson” and “positron” and know what the heck people are talking about… sort of. Like that poor, confounded dog going, “Oooh, so the shiny thing moves, and it makes the other thing go!”, I can’t claim I really understand it. I’m not stupid, but I am out of practice. My brain has been atrophying over these last few years of speaking mainly in 3-word sentences and inhaling toxic diaper fumes, and I didn’t done gots no time fer edumacation, y’all.

Yeah, I’ll pick that right back up after I go watch Dora (God help me!) with the kids and do some dishes… and laundry… and figure out what’s for suppers this week… oh, the expanding that my mind is a-doing. Wooo… hoo.


*For the record, I am entirely incapable of understanding increments of time this small, and I don’t know how they figure this stuff out, anyway. I’m taking their word for it, keeping in mind that it’s all theoretical at this point…

**I took a break to read “Twilight” and “New Moon”- you know, parts 1 and 2 of the vampire love story series written for teenagers? Slightly less challenging stuff, but entertaining.



  1. Charlotte said,

    September 7, 2008 at 10:39 am

    You’re excited? Try living in Switzerland. I’m terrified. Come Wednesday Europe could be sucked into a big wormhole or something. Physics was never my strong point.

    Its lotiekate from LJ incase you were wondering.

  2. allisonwonder said,

    September 7, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Well, if Europe goes, we’re all going- if a black hole got big enough to do that, it would take the rest of us, too. But it’s not going to happen. The only reason scientists won’t say that it WON’T happen is because, theoretically, ANYTHING could happen- it COULD cause elephants to fly out of the Queen’s ass, but it’s highly unlikely. So is getting sucked into a black hole.

    There’s good science (most of which I don’t understand, of course) saying that we’ll be fine. I’m sure the scientists down there don’t want anything bad to happen, either…

  3. Pixiecc said,

    September 7, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    My husband told me about this not too long ago. I’m scared, but really if it happens then I won’t know the difference. My life will cease to be in an instant.

  4. allisonwonder said,

    September 8, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Exactly what I’m thinking.

  5. September 8, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I think it’s awesome! 🙂 I mean, can you really imagine a better way to die than as a result of major international science fair experiement opening up a black hole? That’s an ending befitting a science fiction movie.

  6. Doug said,

    September 8, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    First of all, what’s the point of this experiment? Don’t give me the “I’m dumb” or “We’re dumb” arguments: unlike the theory behind the internal combustion engine, which actually DOES something, 99.999% to 100% of the LHC work will be ABSOLUTELY theoretical, with NO PRACTICAL APPLICATION WHATSOEVER. So we might learn how the universe began. So what? If gravity breaks, will the boys and girls at CERN be able to fix it? If reality starts to unravel, will they come running with the particle glue? I really kinda doubt it. This is, in the end, a huge “GEE WHIZ” waste of time. But ’cause the people behind it can sling numbers like no one’s business, we’re all supposed to feel guilty and schmucky and stupid for thinking that way.

    (By the by, you didn’t lose points for confessing your lack of understanding of your physics book, or the fact that it was Dora time with the kiddies. But you’ve been slumming with “Twilight”…? Oh, dear….)

  7. allisonwonder said,

    September 9, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I agree that there’s no practical application for the work they’re doing- not that I’m aware of, anyway. Maybe they’re working toward something. I don’t understand how you can discover “theoretical” particles, either. As long as we’re not getting sucked into a black hole, though, I don’t have a problem with it.

    As for Twilight… I had to find out what’s so great about these books that 2/3 of the “Pieces of Flair” on facebook seem to refer to it in some way… And I just hate Dora.

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